Traditional methods of communication do not go well with children with autism, as their brains don’t process information like the brains of other children. Their neural networks of the brain work differently.
Many children with autism, for example, are visual thinkers which mean they think in pictures rather than words. Depending on the sense organ that works stronger, some may learn better through sound, and some may respond better to touch. Children with autism are usually bad at memorizing sequences and do not able to them store in their memory banks, for example, long words, a set of numbers, or multi-step instructions. Furthermore, some of them are not able to differentiate amongst sounds, which make learning and reading more difficult.
Children With Autism: What to do?
The web is loaded with lots of information and parent guides to help kid with autism learn. However, those methods do not satiate the end goal completely. This post presents you a set of new ideas which are tried and tested to implement in the learning process for children with ASD. Let’s get started.
1. Optimize your environment
A kid with autism does not feel comfortable in the passive environment, which usually includes predicted schedule. children with autism prefer clear structures with no deviations. If you really want to teach a kid with autism, firstly, optimize your environment in such a way that he/she listens to educators and understands what he has had to do, how many hours he/she should spend on, when he/she should do and what he/she will get.
2. Streamline communication
Though there are many communication techniques that educators can use to teach children with ASD, their proper use is critical to get results. Many learning centers, for example, use sign language for children with autism who face difficulty in verbal communication. If that does not work, facilitated communication is another technique to make them learn better. This technique involves the pressing of a child’s hand or arm to encourage them to hold a portable communication device on their own and press the right key on it.
3. Use Visual Aids
A great approach towards learning of a kid with autism can be teaching through visuals. Use line drawings, photographs or Language Builder Picture Cards in regular learning activities, while providing a structure through picture schedules and mini-schedules. The idea is to simplify the information as much as possible; therefore, you can even incorporate online tutorials and videos into the learning process to keep the continuity and interest in learning.
4. Nurture Social Interactions
Children with autism usually refrain from social interactions as they lack skills for effective communication. Socially weak children need to be dealt with patience while making them understand the importance of expressing yourself. Do not limit learning to schools as experts say that kids with autism spectrum learn, respond, and act more at homes. Classroom teachers should encourage them to practice communication skills to enhance peer to peer communication. You can even hire a consultant who is effective at using Stages Learning Emotion Cards and help children recognize different facial expressions.
5. Be Aware of Sensory Issues
Children with autism can be over-sensitive and under-sensitive to the stimulus we don’t even notice. They react weirdly towards the smell of perfumes, certain lighting, or harsh sound of electrical appliances and echoes. Sometimes, reactions can be so extreme that they can even harm themselves. You can tackle these type of situations using sensory tools as they work wonders for children with ASD to reduce stress and process information effectively.
Learning goes step by step. Be calm and patient to help your kid in learning. Though children with autism require special attention, do not make them feel that they are different from others as this can develop a sense of inferiority complex. If you cannot be with them all day long, a level tuition for child with autism spectrum can help you to continue their learning.